Robert Hofler

Robert Hofler is a critic with The Wrap. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (375)
1776 (Broadway)
Midtown W
The Wrap

"There are a couple of problems with giving '1776' the male-drag treatment. First off, at its core the show is terrible. Peter Stone wrote possibly the dullest, longest book scenes ever written for a musical." Full Review

The Wrap

"'Leopoldstadt' needs more time to let its drama play out effectively. Even at its present condensation, the production could use an intermission." Full Review

american (tele)visions
East Village
The Wrap

"Watching 'American (Tele)visions' is more than a little like watching too much TV: The many familiar products being hawked simply blur together." Full Review

Oresteia
Upper E Side
The Wrap

"Icke turns the whole enterprise into a British kitchen-sink drama, albeit one staged at 10 Downing Street." Full Review

Between The Lines
Midtown W
The Wrap

“ 'Between the Lines' looks Broadway-bound. All this fairytale needs is a good witch to trim away some of the human fat acquired from lesser, sugar-encrusted musicals." Full Review

Corsicana
Midtown W
The Wrap

"The characters in 'Corsicana' – it’s the name of a small town in Texas – are Protestant, not Catholic. Regardless, they talk a lot about the devil and angels, as well as how the ghosts of dinosaurs haunt their town, and, once upon a time, these prehistoric phantoms attacked a gathering of the Ku Klux Klan. The characters in 'Corsicana' may not be Catholic, but they have real religious challenges." Full Review

The Wrap

"Sarah is the kind of kid who makes a joke – and a funny joke – about the recent murder of John Lennon. Too bad that little girl completely disappears in the [show’s] second act. Bathos overtakes 'The Bedwetter' and somehow all that sticky sentiment delivers an antidote" Full Review

Golden Shield
Midtown W
The Wrap

"A masterstroke of May Adrales’s direction is that the scenes between Li Dao and his wife are played way upstage in a little box (scenic design by the collective known as dots) that puts the audience in the position of being distant voyeurs. We’re definitely watching an intimate drama that we should not be watching as the Translator further distances us by telling us what’s being said." Full Review

Wedding Band
Brooklyn
The Wrap

"'Wedding Band' is a stronger, more accomplished play than 'Trouble in Mind,' and one of its greatest assets is the vivid community of four African American women that Childress creates in the play’s opening scenes. " Full Review

Macbeth (Broadway)
Midtown W
The Wrap

"Some of the problem with this 'Macbeth' is Broadway. Watching the production and often being very engaged, I kept thinking how much better this 'Macbeth' would be if staged in-the-round at NYTW or on a thrust stage at the Public Theater. The first act of Gold’s 'Macbeth' is very much the Living Room 'Macbeth.' That intimate approach doesn’t work as well on a Broadway proscenium stage with not one but two balconies out front." Full Review

The Wrap

"At its heart, the musical 'Mr. Saturday Night' is as sentimental as it is dishonest. Under the direction of John Rando, the show entertains only when the title character is being nasty. Reform him, as all his dull relatives insist upon, and he ceases to hold any interest." Full Review

The Wrap

"Its destruction of the fourth wall clearly influenced a number of absurdist playwrights in the following decades. Today, that theatrical irreverence is now standard practice. It’s part of our theatrical vocabulary, and what we’re left with, especially in the preachy third act, are Wilder’s long-winded platitudes about survival." Full Review

Hangmen (Broadway)
Midtown W
The Wrap

"The one thing you can count on with a Martin McDonagh play or movie is that there will be no time to relax and settle in before the real story begins. McDonagh grabs our attention not only in the first scene but early in the first scene." Full Review

The Wrap

"'The Minutes' isn’t a tragedy or even a very funny comedy. It is stirring agitprop. It induces guilt, but don’t worry. The effect is momentary. Out in the night air on West 54th Street, you can congratulate yourself for having seen a Broadway play that bluntly ridicules people who belong to the wrong tribe." Full Review

To My Girls
Midtown W
The Wrap

"Way over the top defines the characters in JC Lee’s new comedy, 'To My Girls,' which opened Tuesday at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater. Everybody on stage here is a souped-up version of Emory. Each of them relentlessly cracks jokes, swishes, forms a chorus line, wears wild clothes (costumes by Sarafina Bush) and ends each zinger with a hurricane-force diphthong." Full Review

The Wrap

"Debra Messing doesn’t so much play a character as she plays a concept in Noah Haidle’s new five-hankie comedy “Birthday Candles,” which opened Sunday at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre." Full Review

The Wrap

"Greenberg writes powerful scenes...Greenberg also writes very funny scenes, most of which go to the star player’s new financial manager, Mason Marzac. Jesse Tyler Ferguson improves on Denis O’Hare’s Tony-winning turn in the original production by waiting until the second act to deliver a full-throttle stand-up comic performance...Ellis and his cast deliver scene after scene of great drama. How Greenberg gets to some of those scenes in the second act is little more than sloppy dramatic licens... Full Review

The Wrap

"On stage now, Parker is as hard-working as Broderick is relaxed. She’s always engaging because she’s always coming up with some novel bit of business or an unusual line reading to keep us distracted from the fact that what she’s doing and what she’s saying is often not very inspired on the part of Simon. Congrats are in order here for Parker’s director, John Benjamin Hickey. There’s a caveat regarding her performance: Parker isn’t right for any of the three roles she plays in 'Plaza Suite.'" Full Review

Help
Chelsea
The Wrap

"Isn’t so much a play as it is a speech delivered by April Matthis, who brings a detached standup-comic charm to the role of the Narrator, whose life, I’m guessing, reflects Rankine’s...The real star of 'Help' is not the playwright or Matthis but Taibi Magar. As the director, Magar puts on a real show that rivals in razzle-dazzle any musical about the apocalypse ever staged on Broadway...The Narrator’s interviews tend to provoke a patronizing sameness from white people that is bookended by tw... Full Review

On Sugarland
East Village
The Wrap

"Whitney White’s direction of his actors is masterful. Together with Berry and Mitchell’s brilliant comedy routine, Jones and Layne in their far more somber roles help to keep the many disparate elements of 'On Sugarland' running on the same track." Full Review

Black No More
Midtown W
The Wrap

"It’s hard to say where director Scott Elliott’s work ends and Jones’ choreography begins. There’s an easy fluidity on display here, except when the dancers appear to be in pain doing some of the more awkward contortions required of them...And that’s the big difference between the novel and the musical 'Black No More.' The latter wants us to sympathize. Schyuler’s book, on the other hand, takes no prisoners." Full Review

Tambo & Bones
Midtown W
The Wrap

"At its core, “Tambo & Bones” is...about the hot-house world of the theater, especially the theater in New York City at this exact moment in time. It can entertain, it can distract, but with its hermetically sealed, mostly white audience, the theater is no game-changer." Full Review

The Wrap

"“Prayer for the French Republic” is a didactic play, and aside from the bipolar screed, the arguments flying back and forth captivate and hold our attention for more than three hours. Harmon writes smart, easy, often funny dialogue. Sometimes that dialogue is maybe a little too easy and funny. While the young American character is often the butt of patented French arrogance, that Gallic superiority seems more than a little out of place in this play." Full Review

The Wrap

"Under Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s taut direction, this cast of four is uniformly splendid. Rashad, famous for playing a mother on TV in “The Cosby Show” and on stage in “Blue” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” completely transforms herself into a seasoned factory worker here, and she wears those overalls with absolute confidence. Boone delivers a fierce, raw performance that consistently galvanizes the drama when he’s on stage. Granted, he has a slightly easier task than the other three actors. His De... Full Review

The Wrap

"Regardless of who’s singing, as soon as the vocals start, the massive set (by Beowulf Boritt) changes shape to reflect hallucinatory projections (by 59 Productions) that visualize what the characters are now experiencing in their head; colors intensify and the physical world drops away. Lapine also directs, and he handles the many elements like a master general. Fortunately, nobody gets swept into the orchestra pit by Boritt’s big, moving set." Full Review

The Wrap

"There are those plays that come into sharp focus only when they’re almost over. You regret not having seen the play twice even before you’ve finished seeing it once." Full Review

The Wrap

"There is one big plus to Williams eschewing all the Buckley trappings. It may be the first time I could understand what the man was saying." Full Review

This Beautiful Future
West Village
The Wrap

"I won’t give away the sweet yet disturbing ending, but I wonder if PETA should check out this production." Full Review

The Wrap

"At the core of 'The Kite Runner' is a case of hidden paternity, the kind that is best left to comedies written in another century." Full Review

Epiphany
Upper W Side
The Wrap

"The enormous pleasure of watching this disastrous dinner party derives from the fact that we’re not guests, just voyeurs. We can watch and not be the victims of Morkan’s mess of a fete. An apparently inedible cooked goose is the least of the problems" Full Review

Soft
Midtown W
The Wrap

"At its core, 'Soft' is a meditation on masculinity and why a young man like Kevin couldn’t survive the hard culture engulfing him. Kevin is that kind of character that disappears early in a play but is the one everyone talks about until the end." Full Review

The Wrap

"Harris addresses issues specific to African-American youth here, but since this playwright is the real thing, an artist, he also speaks to a broader audience. We’re all set on a specific track early in life. How much choice does anyone really have?" Full Review

The Wrap

"Nogueira knows her stuff and adds more than a few new wrinkles to camp idols and the wigs they wear. This new debate between Judy and Jeff is a lot less funny than their Broadway-trivia battles, but proves even more riveting." Full Review

The Wrap

"The sense of discovery that this production evokes is one of its major pleasures. Discover them for yourself. 'A Case for the Existence of God' is a world premiere, and there hasn’t been a better one for a play this theater season in New York City." Full Review

POTUS
Midtown W
The Wrap

"No surprise, 'POTUS' is set in the White House. The big surprise is how much its subtitle 'Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive' misleads. Here, it’s not the president but his wife (Vanessa Williams), lesbian sister (Lea DeLaria), paramour (Julianne Hough), a female reporter (Lilli Cooper) and his female staff (Rachel Dratch, Suzy Nakamura, and Julie White) who are the real incompetents." Full Review

The Wrap

"Despite going on to win the Pulitzer Prize, the show has invoked some chat-room gossip that it 'doesn’t belong on Broadway.' Yes, that’s what they once said about 'Caroline, or Change,' 'Avenue Q,' 'Fun Home' and 'Hamilton' before they hit the big time. Not only does 'Loop' belong on Broadway, it is by far the best new musical to open during this very strange theater season." Full Review

The Wrap

"The big news surrounding this revival is not the leading lady, however. It’s the guys, director Michael Mayer and Harvey Fierstein, who revised the book. Fierstein has sharpened the dialogue throughout, and while the new second act is not vintage Broadway, it’s no longer a complete dud. In other words, it works. A simple glance at the original musical’s lineup of songs shows an imagination gap, with Act 1 not only getting the best material but a lot more material." Full Review

The Wrap

"It is a very happy silver anniversary for a number of talented artists in the theater. Twenty-five years ago, Paula Vogel’s 'How I Learned to Drive' opened Off Broadway starring Mary-Louise Parker, David Morse and Johanna Day under the direction of Mark Brokaw. They’re all back, looking better than ever – and that includes the play itself" Full Review

The Wrap

"When great actors play the subtext of a classic, sometimes wonderful and sometimes strange things happen on stage. Actually, the subtext in Martin Crimp’s new version of 'Cyrano de Bergerac' is the text. What’s transpires on stage at BAM’s Harvey Theatre is the bare bones of Edmond Rostand’s original story about a facially challenged man who speaks and writes poetry so that another man, Christian, can be loved by the gravely deceived Roxane." Full Review

The Wrap

"To call this new musical version of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s novella “The Little Prince” Cirque du Soleil Lite would be an undeserved compliment...George Balanchine once said there are no mothers-in-law in ballet. In other words, dance is not great at telling a story. And what’s on stage with this “Little Prince” is terrible storytelling." Full Review

Suffs
East Village
The Wrap

"This history reads like pretty dry stuff, but right from that beginning chorus, “Suffs” is anything but. This sung-through musical is rousing entertainment for all of its nearly “three hours straight,” and much of the delight comes from seeing how Taub manipulates the material to make it fun." Full Review

The Wrap

"Those sex workers and their madam, Nelly (Joaquina Kalukango), come bubble-wrapped with enough important issues to placate the most hardened moralist...Moises Kaufman’s direction doesn’t so much meld these dances into the narrative as set them aside as show-stopping numbers. The plus here is that the chorus doesn’t sing much when they’re dancing...'Paradise Square' has so many big issues crammed into it that the book writers (Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan) leave no room fo... Full Review

Confederates
Midtown W
The Wrap

"Morisseau is at her best with the play’s many verbal fights. Only George Bernard Shaw can make us change our sympathies faster. Handled with much less finesse is the easy symmetry of the past and the present stories presented here. Stori Ayes’s blunt direction wisely emphasizes the radical jumps in time with amusing and flashy costume changes." Full Review

The Wrap

"Lloyd Suh’s sense of humor is never sharper than when he compares foot binding in China to America’s transatlantic slave trade. It is a wicked wit that is laced throughout his 2018 play...'The Chinese Lady' is at its best when examining the nature of the theater...Here, 'The Chinese Lady' is blessed with the amazing performance of Shannon Tyo...Tyo’s timing is impeccable under Ralph B. Pena’s direction, and she delivers an inspired comedy routine with Daniel K. Isaac." Full Review

English
Chelsea
The Wrap

"Watching 'English,' I also felt the tedium of sitting in a classroom – or Zoom class — while people struggle desperately to express themselves. Yes, the tedium. My classes tend to be 90 minutes. Toossi’s play is a little longer...My take away from 'English' is definitely not the message of identity and pride that Toossi has in mind. For me, the teacher Marjan (Neshat exudes patience throughout) is trying hard to teach disrespectful students who don’t really want to learn." Full Review

Wolf Play
Midtown W
The Wrap

"I rarely watch Lifetime TV, and it’s doubtful the cable network would handle such a subject, but there are aspects of 'Wolf Play' that seem tailor made for that Lifetime audience...I didn’t know anything about the 're-homing' of adopted children, but I learned much more about wolves than I ever wanted to know watching 'Wolf Play.' Jung may be telling us that some people are wolves at heart and other people are not? So let the howling begin?" Full Review

The Wrap

"“MJ” is a jukebox musical that is nothing but the late King of Pop’s greatest hits. Would Jackson himself approve of such a sentimental journey? More to the point is that his estate has approved it." Full Review

Shhhhh
Chelsea
The Wrap

"“Shhhh” tells a long, raunchy shaggy dog story in which two sisters ask to be trusted in the most intimate situations possible without their ever being really intimate with anyone, except maybe each other. The faux familiarity even extends to Arnulfo Maldonado’s set, with its stage-floor mattresses, which is part of the seating arrangement at Atlantic’s basement Stage 2. Those theatergoers who indulge in that seating arrangement receive complimentary coat-checking services." Full Review

The Hang
Soho/Tribeca
The Wrap

"This blissfully bizarre new opera, with book and lyrics by Mac and music by Matt Ray, dazzles immediately — with the cast of nine getting to wear fabulous outfits by Machine Dazzle. The designer also uses what tulle, sequins and crepe was left over to dress up the gaudy womb-like set." Full Review

Company (Broadway)
Midtown W
The Wrap

"The switch from male to female works, but more important is the light, sexy touch of Elliott’s direction and how it frees the musical from the year of its world premiere, 1970. This very rousing and arousing “Company” revival opened Thursday at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre." Full Review